Natural Hot Springs in California
California is the third-largest state in the nation with over 163,000 square miles of vast and sweeping terrain. It is one of the most geographically diverse states in the nation featuring mountains, coastal ranges, valleys, rivers, lakes, deserts – and abundance of public and private natural hot springs.
In order to assist with finding your next favorite hot pool in California, our listings contain access information, pool conditions, hours, directions, maps, rates, facility information, ratings, pictures, video clips and more.
How to Find Hot Springs in California
- Use the bar at the top of every page to search for hot springs in the Golden State.
- Use the Soak by Feature list on every page to find hot springs sorted by type (i.e. overnight, massage, camping, clothing optional, Family-Friendly, RV-Friendly).
- Use the northern and southern sections to view corresponding maps and listings of area hot springs.
California’s Geothermal Background
Natural hot springs have been around since before the dawn of man. California is located within the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is comprised of a chain of volcanoes. This volcanic activity is where California’s hot springs were born.
Throughout the world, hot springs have been utilized for their perceived medicinal benefits and as locations for religious rites and ceremonies. In the United States, Native Americans held hot springs as sacred places of neutrality, where warring tribes could come together and be at peace. As the US became more populated, many hot springs took a turn towards decadence and posh. Resorts and spas boomed for an era, offering the well to do somewhere to indulge in the rejuvenating pools, especially in the late 1800s.
Presently, hot springs in California are revered and sought after by many different walks of life. From the rustic natural hot pools that are only accessible by hiking to the roadside five-star resorts, California provides soak seekers whatever their hearts desire.
Why Are Hot Springs in California Hot?
Water heated from deep within the earth due to volcanic activity pushes its way through fractures and cracks in rocks while gathering minerals along the way. Groundwater from rain aids in replacing the water heated by magma and subsequently renewing the cycle.
California Hot Springs Safety Precautions
Many hot springs are far from civilization; away from gas, water, cell phone service and roadside assistance. It is incredibly important to be prepared when traveling to new places. First and foremost, know where you are going. Will you be able to refuel along the way or do you need to carry extra gas? Will your vehicle handle the roads you’ll be traveling on? What shape is your spare tire in?
Hot Springs Basic Checklist:
- Tool kit for the car including road flares
- Spare tire, jack, lug wrench
- Electrical tape and duct tape
- Hatchet or small saw
- Tent or some kind of shelter
- Extra clothes including wet weather gear
- Food and water (more than you think you need)
- Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, extra blanket
- Waterproof matches
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- First aid kit
- A readiness for adventure!
Visit Hot Springs in Another State!
- Discover Idaho’s unique natural hot springs – IdahoHotSprings.com
- Explore wild hot springs in Montana – MontanaHotSprings.net
- Learn about hot springs in Oregon – SoakOregon.com